Disembarking Before Cruise is Over

Ever wonder how to fly home from a different port?  After booking the Caribbean Cruise March 19-26, my son realized he had a business commitment on 3/25 he couldn't miss. Rather than cancel completely, we called Princess to see if he could disembark in St. Maarten and miss the two sea days back to Ft. Lauderdale. This is not as easy as it sounds and the worse thing you can do is simply not get back on the ship.

Special permission is required through immigration and customs and your entire booking must be altered and approved by Princess or you can be stuck in the port where you exited the ship.

Princess expedited the process for me and permission has been granted for him to leave the ship while I stay on to Ft. Lauderdale.  Ironically, his flight from St Maarten to JFK (New York) allows him to spend Friday in NY and fly home to Las Vegas on the red eye on the 24th and came out to be less $ than his flight from FLL - go figure....

Not sure most people would want or need to do this, but now you know .... 

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25 Answers

A few years go a friend wanted to get off his Alaskan cruise when it stopped in Victoria instead of the next day in Vancouver (or maybe it was Seattle). He lives in Victoria, so it would have been very convenient, and he could have practically walked home. There was so much red tape involved that he just stayed on for the extra night and paid for his way back home to Victoria. 

I can see why - it wasn't an easy task but I have to give Princess credit for expediting it ... they originally told me we wouldn't know for 2 weeks and got it pushed through in 24 hours. I was planning on just going by myself and/or finding a friend to go so I was really happy it worked out.

The penalty and problems you would encounter if you just don't come back are huge (my son thought he could just stay off the ship lol). But I certainly learned otherwise ...

Just remember that if you are sailing with your birth certificate only, you will not be allowed to Disembarking and travel back to the US from some foreign ports. This happens when a cruise is cut short for ship issues, you will be stuck that until you can work something out with the US embassy. That is why you should always travel with a passport, you never know what could happen and how much of a headache it will turn out.

If a ship is stopping at almost any foreign port, you will not be allowed to board without a passport - let alone get off ...

For my friend, it was just for convenience, not a prior commitment so it wasn't worth going through the process. It was really good for your son that he was cleared to leave, so quickly.

You can't really blame the cruise line for it. In a sense, it would be better for them if everybody got off after the first stopBig Smile. The problem lies with the convoluted laws concerning immigration and transport.

I don't get it.  Who the hell would know if you got off the ship and booked a flight home?  We all know if you are late getting back to the ship the captain will leave your butt on the pier and leave it to you to get home or the next port.

I agree ,  totally Thumbs up on that comment ToddRohl, because the Captain sure would leave your butt. 

Yep.

Way to go on forking over for a nice getaway enjoy, love the itinerary. 

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